The logic of villainy


O Globo, March 31, 2001

Translated by Assunção Medeiros

When someone tells me that communism is a thing of the past, that to warn against it is like beating up a dead horse, I sometimes have the suspicion that I am speaking with a villain. Not that that particular fellow is necessarily a villain. But, in fact, only a villain would let 1,2 billion people that still live under the communist tyranny pass as a negligible amount, an infinitesimal quantity in the infinite. Only a villain would disregard as irrelevant the 40 monthly executions of Chinese women (and their doctors) that refused to practice abortion. Only a villain would persuade himself that, only because half a dozen of American companies are making money in Peking (as if they hadn’t already made a bunch in Lenin’s Russia), communism became as harmless as a stuffed toy rhino. Only a villain would pretend to ignore that, after the dissolution of the URSS, no KGB agent was fired, much less punished, and that the greatest instrument of espionage, of political police, of state terror and of institutionalized torture that ever existed in the universe, with a budget bigger than all the western secret services combined, continues to work as if nothing had happened.

Only a villain would induce people to ignore these things so that, when the revolution that is being prepared in Brazil with money from drug dealing comes to power, no one realizes they are reliving the tragedy of Russia, China, and Cuba.

For we do not have to look abroad, all we have to do is look at Brazil itself to see the monstrous power that the communist movement, whatever name you give it – for along its history it changed names many times according to its interests of the time – has been acquiring day after day. Only as an example, the diffusion of communist ideas in schools, of which many Brazilians are not even aware of, and that others insist in ignoring on purpose (among them our Minister of Education), has already moved from the simple “indoctrination” stage to the more direct and frank rape of consciousness. In thousands of public schools, teachers paid by taxpayer money are using their influence and their power not only to install the cult of genocidal leaders and the myth of socialist democracy, but also to intimidate and punish any child that does not agree to repeat their teacher’s discourse. The slightest divergence, sometimes a single doubt, subjects the student to embarrassment in front of the class, placing in him the fear for the future of his academic and professional life. My own children have gone through this, and I receive monthly dozens of emails with similar reports. Calling this “propaganda”, “indoctrination”, is terminological euphemism by someone that does not want to be aware of the gravity of the situation. And the situation is such that psychological terrorism has already imposed its domination over children’s hearts, preparing them to accept, as a normal, inevitable and even a good thing, a government of assassins and psychopaths like the one still in power in Cuba and the one that is already installed in the regions under the domination of the Farc.

In face of that, Brazilians react… covering up facts with words, blunting the conscience with soporiferous clichés, exhibiting that air of pretense calm that betrays the fear, the panic of facing reality. Will I say this is naiveté? No. Naiveté has nothing of the verbal shrewdness required for such self-deceit.

A reader, all puffed up with false science, writes to me saying that communism was no more violent than the religious wars, than the Holy Office, than the burning of witches or the Night of S. Bartolomeu. With that air of “papa knows it all” of an elementary school teacher, he mentions the horror of Montaigne before the cruelty of the civil wars of his time, and concludes that “violence was always present in all the different stages of history”. Nothing like a catch phrase to make a Brazilian shine, saying things he does not understand. Nothing like a beautiful cliché to level, in a uniform verbal paste, the most prodigious differences. The Spanish Inquisition, the cruelest tribunal that was ever heard of before the 20th century, killed 20 thousand people along four centuries. The Leninist government did the same in just a few weeks. Furthermore, all the examples of mass cruelty observed along History happened because of wars against other states, other tribes or other religious groups. The Soviet repression was the first case of permanent statal violence against unarmed civilians, in a time of peace. The example proliferated. When the Germans started sending the Jewish to Auschwitz, 20 million Russians had already been killed by the Soviet government. Even at the end of this macabre work, in 1945, Nazism, with all of the genocidal structure set up for this intent, was not able to equal the productivity of the Soviet death industry.

Under whatever aspect we examine, socialism is in no way a decent idea, which could be discussed calmly as a viable alternative for a country, or one that can – without committing a crime of intellectual pedophilia – be inoculated in school children.  It is a hideous, macabre doctrine, not the least bit better than nazi ideology, and that, in a paroxysm of cynicism, dares to cry out in the name of morals, when it condemns acts of excess and violence that are much smaller, and that its adversaries committed in the zeal of stopping its homicidal march of devourer of peoples and continents.

As soon as we accept the infernal logic of its propaganda, we will darken our intelligence, lose our sense of truth and our sense of proportions. We will even lose the sense of before and after. They inoculate in us, for instance, the notion that the Brazilian guerrilla was the only way out that was given them by the repressive government that, in March 31, 1964, closed all the doors to legal opposition. But how can this be, if the guerrilla started in 1961, always directed from and financed by Cuba? They tell us that “Operation Condor” was an international conspiracy among dictatorships, to suffocate pacifist and democratic movements. But how can this be, if such operation only came to be later, in response to a three-continent armed movement, directed from Havana and financed by soviet money? Before the lessons of the socialist masters, we unlearn even the instinctive sense of the temporal order of facts.

Believing in these people, even for a brief instant, is to dismantle our own brain, is to destroy in our souls the ability to make even the most elementary and self-evident distinctions. That is why I do not have any patience left with people who consent that their children be subject to this kind of stupefaction. For a while, I imagined that they were only idiots, cowards or sluggards. But idiocy, cowardice and laziness have limits: after a certain point, they are transformed in the finer and most subtle modality of villainy.

The nutty Brazilian rock

Época, February 3, 2001

Translated by Assunção Medeiros

“Lost, I contest myself”
(Chico Buarque de Hollanda, in Calabar)

What happened in Rock in Rio is the living image of the national schizophrenia. The guy dresses himself up as an American, jumps and dances all day long to the sound of American music and, when he sees on the screen the flag of the United States, gets inflamed with patriotic feelings and cries against cultural colonialism. After that he keeps on jumping – and throws cans in protest on the head of Carlinhos Brown, when he wants to spoil the festival of Americanisms by playing music from Bahia. Have you ever seen something like this? It’s Olívio Dutra drinking Coca-Cola inside a bowl of chimarrão – to hide it – and making a speech against the “black water of imperialism”.

But, in the Social Forum of Porto Alegre, this image acquired body, life and movement: amidst the boo-hoos and cries against the New World Order, the illustrious assembly manifested its love for the global labor law, to the unarming of the civilians, to preferential racial quotas, and to the control of the Internet – four fifths of the program of the New World Order. The remaining fifth was object of debate only because the participants want to do all this with the economic procedures from Cuba, from Vietnam and North Korea. That most certainly will not be reason for discussion for very long, because the New World Order knows how to respect the independence of the nations and how to leave them alone, in a stinking hole, when they make the preferential option for suicide. With the greatest tranquility, it turned its back to the peoples of Africa, that used to cry in rebellion against the international capitalism that would not leave them alone, and now foam at the mouth with hate towards the international capitalism that abandoned them. In the future socialist Brazil, while we fight like maniacs for a rat leg to eat, Olívio Dutra, showing us with indignation an empty can of Coca-Cola, will say that it is all the fault of the goddamned Ford that abandoned him when he most needed it.

When I say this country is crazy, insane, needing urgent psychiatric care, people think I am joking. But look at the number of our countrymen that announce socialism to us with the seriousness and the deliberation of someone who had in his hands a saving remedy. The richest and most powerful socialist state that ever existed was the URSS. It was the second industrial power in the world. If Brazil implements socialism today, it will take us half a century, at best, to reach the level of development that the URSS had when, in 1991, it fell apart. How high was this level? According to official data, the average soviet citizen, in 1987, received half the ration of meat that a subject of the czar ate in 1913. The blacks under the apartheid in South Africa had more cars per capita than the soviets. In 1989, with no war or anything like that, there was food rationing in Moscow. The average family (not average, poor), with four members, were pressed together inside a three-square-meter room like the people that live in our favelas. A factory worker, after having worked for a whole year, would earn half of what an American unemployed mother would get in a month from social security. All of this, of course, in the more developed regions. In the periphery – Uzbekistan and Tadzhikistan, for example – 93% of the houses had no sewage and 50% no piped water. The atmosphere was the most polluted in Europe and the investments in health were the lowest in the industrialized world.

But the socialism to which the Brazilian are asking for recipes of prosperity is not even the one from URSS. It is the one from Cuba, from North Korea, from Vietnam, places where a Russian would only go because of that spirit of patriotic sacrifice with which a British officer from the 19th century, leaving the comfort of his London club, would venture into the forests of Sudan, among mosquitoes and orangutans, for the glory of the Queen. And they say that I’m the one who’s nutty.

A special forum


Zero Hora, January 14, 2001

Translated by Assunção Medeiros

The World Social Forum would only be another international festival for the exhibitionism of the left, with nothing special to it, if it did not stand out precisely by this one uncommon detail: it is the most shameless undertaking of ideological propaganda ever financed with public money, in this or in any other Brazilian state. It is illegal all down the line, and any citizen, through a very simple legal popular motion in Justice, can frustrate its realization at any moment.

Not withstanding its pretension of constituting a leftist “pendant” to the periodic encounters of theoreticians of capitalism in the Swiss city of Davos, it is nothing but a burlesque inversion of the Forum of Liberty, realized annually by the gaúcho conservatives with huge success. Between the two forums, however, there are three differences. First: the Forum of Liberty is realized strictly inside the law, with money from voluntary contributions from participants and sponsors. Second, in this forum the guests represent all ideological trends – liberal, conservative, nationalists, leftists –, whereas its “Social” version is a very élitist Club – where only the ideologically correct can enter – what marks with precision the distance between debate and propaganda.

The third difference is the most significant. In the Forum of Freedom, people are asked to speak according to their experience on the subject. No one steps out of one’s shoe in there. To me, for instance no one asks about unemployment or housing needs, problems that I only had contact with in the condition of speechless victim, and of which all I would have to say is that they really are a load of trouble. However, I have done better in areas such as education, culture, history, etc., and the Forum of Liberty asks me questions on these subjects. To talk about the banking system, they invite Gustavo Franco, who knows how to make the thing work. To talk about private enterprise, they invite Mr.Jorge Gerdau, who has one that works. And so on. On the other hand, the people from the Social Forum announce that they possess the solution to evils of great bulk: the misery of the poor nations, social exclusion, and things like that. It would be unfair to expect that these people showed us their achievement list – or, at least, their ideology – concerning the solution of these problems. We could ask, for instance: to how many people has socialism given a better life? If we exclude the members of the “nomenklatura”, who obviously had the best of lives, the amount we obtain as answer cannot be called void, because it is negative: in almost all the socialist nations, the quality of life is today inferior to the one before socialism. At best, it is the same: when Cuba brags about having the third or fourth place of the continent in quality of health and education, they omit that they already had it since 1951, eight years before the revolution. In other countries, such as Vietnam, hunger and misery reached apocalyptic levels, while in China the average salary of a worker, after half a century of redemptive murders “soi disant” destined to elevate their standard of life, is 40 dollars per month.

Against that, in this valley of darkness that is capitalism, the poorest fraction of the North-American and European population today have a consuming level much superior to the middle class of the fifties. In Africa, on the other hand – that according to the socialist doctrine would experience an amazing economic blooming as soon as the Europeans left with their damned colonialist investments – whole populations die of starvation today, and the Social Forum, according to what was announced in this same publication by the unforgettable Mr. Luiz Marques, will show us that the blame falls on the malevolent ex-colonialists that do not put their money there anymore. Such is the know-how that this people will come to transmit to the gaúchos in exchange for their tax money.

Of all the economic problems in the world, the socialist doctrine solved up to now only one: its own. Each of the people who disseminate this doctrine has a good job in a university, newspaper or research institution in prosperous capitalist countries, and not one of them was ever idiot enough to propose solving, not the problems “of the world”, but those from some socialist country. Not daring to take care of their own backyard, they became specialists on minding other people’s businesses. Socialism, as we well know, has no autonomous life, but feeds from the donations of insane capitalist dilettantes from New York and Geneva, which support it more or less like someone that keeps in his house a tank of alligators. In retribution, the alligators show their teeth and shake their tails to impress the visitors. This will be the sole utility of the Social Forum. The difference is that the salaries of the alligators will not be paid by insane capitalists from New York and Geneva, but by the gaúcho taxpayers.

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